Maddy Nevill: Thank You Friends & Colleagues
2016 was a tough year for the Nevill family, but it was also a rewarding one.
In 2015, my father-in-law had become very ill and we made the difficult decision to place him in a premier facility in Austin, TX. This meant that my husband’s year-long sabbatical to care for his father was ending, so we decided that Austin, TX would be a great place to start over (we lived in Houston, TX at the time). In addition, I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with my second child and we decided that I would stay behind in Houston until our youngest was born and our house was sold.
Tuesday, June 13th of 2016 (one week until my due date), while at a prenatal doctor’s appointment, I reported that I had found a lump in my left breast. Preliminary ultrasound tests seemed to confirm the diagnosis of clogged ducts. To be safe, the doctor chose to do a biopsy.
Wednesday, June 14th started like any other day, I was swamped with meetings and so busy that I had completely forgotten about the day before. It was 2:00 PM and I was walking into my next meeting when my phone rang. It was the doctor and the call started with a “Hi Maddy, is now a good time to talk?” If I had known what she was going to say, a small part of me would have said “no.” I replied with a yes, and she began to cry. Everything in me stopped. Time stopped. “It’s not good news,” she said. “You have breast cancer.” I didn’t even realize I was crying until my colleague, Ricky, was holding my hand. I had to call my husband; I could barely get the words out between sobs.
I walked into the middle of another colleague’s, Rich, meeting with clients; I was a complete mess. I think Rich thought the baby was coming, but as soon as he saw my face, he had everyone take a break. The only words I could get out, as I’m surrounded by everyone in the Houston office, that day was “it’s cancer.” I was devastated, the diagnosis had blown a ginormous hole in my world and now I was being driven home by some of my most favorite people, my teammates, my fellow MCA Connectors.
I was induced that Sunday, June 19th so, for Father’s Day, my husband got a brand new baby boy (Parker). I don’t think there will ever be another gift to top that one.
After another biopsy, two surgeries, chemotherapy and the passing of my father-in-law, I was in remission in December.
In the meantime, I received so much support, concern and love from MCA Connect. Every day, someone was reaching out to see how I was doing and if they could help with anything.
My departure was sudden (well, a week earlier than expected), so fellow architects and teammates stepped in with almost no notice to fill in with clients. It was such a relief to know that the customers wouldn’t be let down.
As I was awaiting the start of radiation. I had returned to work and my first day had me feeling a little like the first day of school. However, my nervous anticipation and excitement was greeted with hugs. The absolute best way to greet someone is with hugs.
While on my sabbatical, I thought very often of my team and my office and how much I truly missed them. I am lucky to count myself as a part of an elite few, an MCA Connect-or.
I’m so grateful for the well wishes, the support, the smiles and the hugs. It’s because of the people like those at MCA Connect that I’m here today. I’m ready to start again; ready to take on the world. I will forever be grateful and they will always find a friend and colleague in me.